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I don't know what to charge

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Rob GrauertI don't know what to charge
by on Apr 18, 2008 at 11:50:53 pm

So I'm only 21 and I've been doing work for people for free now. Mainly I've been editing basketball for this guy. I also have some other experience with others and I've learned a lot on my own.

I want to start charging people. I feel I'm quite knowledgeable in Final Cut, fixing audio in Soundtrack Pro, I can make graphics with Illustrator, Photoshop and Motion or After Effects, I can do some color correction in Color, although I'm not a pro at it yet, and I know how to author DVDs in DVD Studio Pro. I have a pretty good understanding with compression as well, incase they want their video on the internet. I'm also a pretty decent shooter.

I don't know about you, but I think I sound pretty well-rounded. I don't know what to charge people. I know it varies from project to project. What are some things to think about besides just how long it takes.

Here is a sample of my work if clears up any thoughts on my skill level.

http://exposureroom.com/members/robgrauert.aspx/assets/b4c5e818ad1647e9bf97...

http://exposureroom.com/members/robgrauert.aspx/assets/2f2680d996b54a7f9950...


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Bill DewaldRe: I don't know what to charge
by on Apr 19, 2008 at 2:49:29 am

This sort of question has been answered a lot here (search words like "rates" and "charge" in this forum), and there are a lot of people on this forum with a lot more experience and business sense than I have, but I give you my two cents...

If you're in business, the question "what am I worth" depends as much on your clients as it does on your skills. What problem will your video solve for your client? What is that worth to him or her?

So, I'd answer your question with a question - What type of clientele would you like to serve?

btw - I went to Muhlenberg High School, and got my start doing football highlights for the Muhls 12 years ago.(Your stuff looks a lot better).



Good luck!



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eric pautschRe: I don't know what to charge
by on Apr 19, 2008 at 7:02:35 am

Yeah...your stuff looks great. The wrestling segment is well lit on the interviews. The camera movements are also well done.

Not saying it can't be polished. Work on graphics. Good professional graphic especially the lower 2/3 thirds on the interviews will separate you from others....IMO Also graphics as segment or scene separations.

Call local production companies and compete with them on price levels.



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Ron LindeboomRe: I don't know what to charge
by on Apr 19, 2008 at 11:51:17 am

[eric pautsch] "Call local production companies and compete with them on price levels."

While Eric is right that you can do this (to a point), in many cases this simply will not work as most seasoned pros do not post rates, per se.

You are not likely to find prices on many web sites and if you ask me for a PDF or my rates, I will start asking you a bunch of questions. Questions like: What type of project are you working on? What is your budget? What are the input and output/delivery formats and what are your distribution channels? There will be many others before I ever get you to the point of giving you even a cursory "price."

The way many established pros work, you are likely to find yourself more akin to playing "nail them to their project and get it defined" than getting any idea of what to charge based on what they charge.

The forum here is full of discussions about rates and if you use the search engine, you will find many. If you don't, then you can call around and see what your competition charges and undercut them. It's a recipe for failure as it ignores the fact that you would not have considered your costs and many other factors that we have discussed in many past "rates" discussions, but it will also have you undercutting the ones who do post rates -- which are usually new low-baller businesses. (Not always, but often.)

Sure, there are exceptions to the rules but in most cases and in all the people I know that work in this industry, I know of only a couple that actually post their rates.

Ron Lindeboom


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walter biscardiRe: I don't know what to charge
by on Apr 19, 2008 at 1:24:02 pm

Most folks I know that are first starting out tend to charge about $20/hour to $300/day for editing services. That's usually either on someone else's system or editing on their own basic DV only editing setup. Like just Final Cut Studio with Firewire I/O only from MiniDV equipment.

That's a good starter rate. As you build a clientele and a name for yourself, you start bumping that up generally each year.

Now the two examples you point to are basic, cut to music highlights for schools. They're clean, simple pieces, but I know schools generally won't pay much of anything for video services so if this is going to be your primary market, you'll be lucky to get $100/day or even $100 for the entire project. They just don't have money to spend on a project like this.

If you plan to offer your services for a fee, you absolutely MUST understand what it takes to make your projects broadcast compliant. This means understanding proper video and audio levels. Even if your project is never destined for broadcast TV, cutting everything to broadcast spec makes you look better all around. So start now with everything 0-100 IRE, -20 Tone and peaking your audio levels no higher than -6db. Start with this habit now and it become second nature later.

Good luck, based on your work, you already have a pretty good eye for cutting.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!
Read my Blog!
View Walter Biscardi's profile on LinkedIn


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Rob GrauertRe: I don't know what to charge
by on Apr 20, 2008 at 5:38:55 pm

Thanks guy. I think you're input has helped a lot.

While my videos were from my old high school's sports teams, I don't plan on that being my market. I just made those because I'm in school now, and going back to my high school made for easy access.

And yes, Mr. Biscardi. I have started setting tone to -20 and having my audio peak no higher than -6. I believe it was you a few month ago who filled me in on that topic as well. Ha.

Anyway, thanks a lot guys

Robert J. Grauert, Jr.


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Kyle TroxellRe: I don't know what to charge
by on Apr 23, 2008 at 2:38:56 am

start now with everything 0-100 IRE, -20 Tone and peaking your audio levels no higher than -6db

Walter, what exactly would that do? I've never heard that you should do that to the audio levels.



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walter biscardiRe: I don't know what to charge
by on Apr 23, 2008 at 2:45:26 am

[Kyle Troxell] "start now with everything 0-100 IRE, -20 Tone and peaking your audio levels no higher than -6db

Walter, what exactly would that do? I've never heard that you should do that to the audio levels."


-20db is standard Tone line up for broadcast these days. Though nothing is really standard anymore and you have to get the specs from each network and review them carefully. The PBS Redbook for example is about 400 pages or so.


-6db is a good level for all production, both broadcast and corporate. Anything lower than that will play too quietly on playback. Anything louder runs the risk of over driving unless you use compression properly like a good sound designer can do. When we get our shows back from a sound designer, generally it's up around -3db for the entire show.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!
Read my Blog!
View Walter Biscardi's profile on LinkedIn


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Mark StuartRe: I don't know what to charge
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 12:32:00 am

isn't it 7.5 IRE black for broadcast?

http://www.mediaartsolutions.net


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